Lists can be purchased from a variety of sources…but where/how they get the information is crucial to the quality of the list. You’ll read stories about people getting credit card applications for dead relatives or children, that’s not uncommon (I was tempted to apply for a Visa for my 8-year-old).
For really high impact, highly targeted campaigns it’s best to enrich the data from other sources and ‘cleanse’ the list by actually calling and verifying the information. Not only does this ensure quality of the data, it primes the target to be on the lookout for material that you’re sending. The unspoken message here is two-fold: 1) That they’re important enough to you that you wanted to make sure you had the right information and 2) The information must be worthwhile and relevant if you took the time/energy to verify the information.
Targeted marketing is our favorite approach. Defining the target is the easy part…reaching them is the key to success.